Perhaps you recently uncovered a treasure trove of family snapshots going back several generations. You already sent the best ones to a professional scanning service to get digitized – now you’re looking for the best way to share photos with family. Luckily, many online platforms are available for family photo sharing. The easiest way to share photos depends on how comfortable you and your family members are using social media and photo sharing apps.
With 2.6 billion active users, this mega social network site is the most obvious for sharing photos. Much has been written on the pros and cons of Facebook, especially regarding their massive market power and privacy lapses. Certainly, before you post photos on Facebook, you should consider privacy issues and how you wish to manage account settings. For example, you can make everything public or only allow Facebook friends to see your posts. Of course, if you choose the latter, family members need to be your Facebook friends to see photos. You can also create online photo albums, although Facebook doesn’t offer the most user-friendly tool for this.
Launched in 2004, this image and video hosting service is still considered one of the best because it was built for professional photographers and photography enthusiasts to share their work. The free version of Flickr is limited to 1,000 photos, however, a Pro account is available at a cost. The latter provides an unlimited number of uploads, the ability to store videos up to 10 minutes in length, ad-free browsing, and advanced stats. It’s easy to import contact lists from Facebook, Yahoo!, or Gmail to see who’s on Flickr to connect with them, however, sharing photos with nonmembers is also easy.
Previously called Picasa Web Albums, Google Photos is a smartphone app that offers free unlimited storage, as long as photos are less than 16MP and videos are compressed to 1080p HD. You upload photos and share them with friends and family using their mobile number or email address. Once you share them, family members can download photos to their smartphones. You can also enable people to upload their own photos to family photo albums. If you wish to upload original file sizes, you can do so for free up to 15GB, but this includes everything else in the Drive including Gmail. If you need more space, upgrades are available for a monthly fee.
If you’re already a Prime member, this platform provides unlimited full-resolution photo storage and the ability to add up to five family members to a “Family Vault” to collect and share photos. Family members don’t need to have an Amazon account to see your photos. You share individual photos or albums via email or a shareable link, which also allows people you invite to add photos to existing family albums.
This site offers unlimited photo storage, a user-friendly interface, and the ability to easily share albums with friends and family via email or a shared link. There’s no risk of photos being deleted unless you do so yourself. The perk that sets Shutterfly apart is the huge array of gifts you can create from uploaded photos, including a mind-boggling number of creative templates for digital scrapbooks and hardcover photo books. A con is that users and guests can’t download full-resolution photos, so it’s recommended that you retain the originals.
If you’re looking for a basic sharing service, a free account enables you to store up to 2GB and share photos from any device. You have the option of allowing people to view or download photos.
If you have older family members who aren’t comfortable with online cloud storage or mobile technology, you can always print photos and send them beautiful photo albums, either through Shutterfly or any number of other vendors.